VIP Prisoners Not To Be Treated Differently- Court While Remanding Chitra Ramkrishna To 14 Day Judicial Custody
A Delhi court today sent former managing director and chief executive officer of National Stock Exchange (NSE) Chitra Ramkrishna to 14-day judicial custody in connection with the co-location scam case while turning down her request for certain facilities in jail, saying she cannot be treated differently.
Special Judge Sanjeev Aggarwal ordered that Ramakrishna be physically produced before the court next on March 28 and rejected her counsel's request for home-cooked food in jail.
"I've also had it... It's good," the judge remarked.
The Court also turned down the lawyer's plea to allow her to carry masks.
"VIP prisoners want everything. Every prisoner is the same. She does not have to be treated differently because of what she has been," the judge said.
The Court allowed the request made by Ramakrishna's lawyer for spectacles, prayer book and medicines inside jail.
The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) produced the accused before the court upon the expiry of her 7-day custody and urged the court to remand her to judicial custody.
CBI counsel said that the investigation in the case was ongoing and Ramkrishna was evasive and uncooperative as well as a highly influential person.
"Have you found if she is the mastermind or is there a puppet master," the Court questioned.
The CBI counsel said that it was "premature to say" and stated that the accused has been confronted with various people.
Counsel for Ramakrishna said that he was filing a bail application and the court questioned if it was too soon.
"Your anticipatory bail was dismissed a few days back. Is it not a bit early?" questioned the judge who added that the order on bail plea by another accused in the case, Anand Subramanian was listed for pronouncement on March 24.
The judge nonetheless said that filing bail application was a Constitutional right and it was up to the accused.
While opposing the bail application by former group operating officer (GOO) Anand Subramanian, the CBI had said that he had impersonated as a Himalayan Yogi and influenced the decision making of Ramkrishna.
The CBI had arrested Ramkrishna on March 6, a day after her anticipatory bail application was dismissed by the Court.
The CBI had recently questioned Ramkrishna in the matter. The Income Tax (I-T) Department earlier raided various premises linked to her in Mumbai and Chennai.
The arrest was made in the case related to the co-location scam, the FIR for which was registered in May 2018, amid fresh revelations about irregularities at the country's largest stock exchange.
The CBI is probing the alleged improper dissemination of information from the computer servers of the market exchanges to the stock brokers.
In the co-location facility offered by NSE, brokers could place their servers within the stock exchange premises giving them faster access to the markets. It is alleged that some brokers in connivance with insiders abused the algorithm and the co-location facility to make windfall profits.
Earlier, capital markets regulator Sebi penalised the NSE, Ramkrishna and Ravi Narain and two other officials for lapses in recruitment at the senior level. Ravi Narain was the MD and CEO of the NSE from April 1994 till March 2013, while Chitra Ramkrishna was MD and CEO of the NSE from April 2013 to December 2016.
Sebi observed that the NSE and its top executives violated securities contract norms relating to the appointment of Subramanian as group operating officer and advisor to the managing director.
With PTI inputs